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Extract IV from „Entschwörungstheorie“

According to their political program, German workers of the post 1871 era struggled for an international workers revolution as Social Democracy propagated it. But the imprinting of Prussian military education on several generations had already left its traces on these plans. Still, Social Democrats referred to Marx but with a strong tendency they selected from his ideas.

Because of the escalated situation in 1848, Marx had written about a special urgency for a victorious social revolution in Germany. This urgency now changed into a necessity in the popular understanding of Social Democrats. The indicated hurry and the special circumstances transformed into a certainty that the revolution would have to happen anyway and that everything was going according to a historical plan. The thought that the workers would have to make the revolution because they suffered the most and were therefore most interested in change metamorphosized into a workers cult glorifying the life of those wage-related to be an anticipation of the new social order to come. Marx‘ dictum of the „German condition“ being „below all criticism“ was lost with the establishment of the more and more religiously appearing idea of the historical mission of the proletariat.

From this mixture of national liberation and social salvation the ideological mélange emerged that later caused the bellicism of the German workers in World War I as well as the development of the Leninist variety of Marxism stressing class war, iron disciplin, historical necessities and national liberation. The glorified proletarian self-depiction also laid grounds for the conspiratorial thinking that became dominant in the Stalin era as it identified the good, strong, unified nation with the working class.

Extract III from „Entschwörungstheorie“

As counter-concept to the „disquietude“ of revolt and revolution the late 18th century conservatives drew a picture of the „quiet“ of a seemingly harmonic order of subjects. This picture had previously not been there at all, Bieberstein describes it as „über-sharp elaborated image of world and man“ and as a „conscious antithesis to the human rights firstly made a political program in the Declaration of Independence.“ In a certain way this process looks like simple fronting, as moving together in the face of the same enemy. But this enemy didn‘t exist as such. Though the Illuminati and a minority of Freemasons did their share in accelerating social change there is no doubt that the revolution was a product of the social order to which alternatives had not been thinkable, it was not the result of something invading from the outside.

This tendency of outsourcing though is typical for late 18th century German propagandists of the conspiracy thesis. From reading Abbé Le Franc (Paris 1792) Bieberstein concludes „that in French counter-revolutionary circles the origin of the revolution was, other than among Germans, definitely located in France. This circumstance alone suggests that the anti-Freemason conspiracy thesis was developed in Germany.“

But Germany? Haven‘t the two most infamous and influential conspiracy theories about the Illuminati been written by the French Catholic Barruel and the Scottish Protestant Robeson? No, by accepting this version we already adopted the conspiracy fans‘ story as this is merely the self-display of later days‘ believers. The actual story of the formation of modern day conspiracy theory, as far as we can reconstruct it, asks completely different questions than ones about the possible continuous existence of the Illuminati order. It asks questions about the preconditions that made German counter-revolutionaries the constructors of modern conspiracy ideology.

With friends like that who the fuck needs Cointelpro?

George Moonbiot finds himself caught between at least to stools. He recently is denied full honors of being in opposition because:

>>To qualify as a true opponent of the Bush regime, you must also now believe that it is capable of magic.< <

He attests an affinity to conspirationism to his political allies:

>>Those of us who believe that the crucial global issues – climate change, the Iraq war, nuclear proliferation, inequality – are insufficiently debated in parliament or congress, that corporate power stands too heavily on democracy, that war criminals, cheats and liars are not being held to account, have invested our efforts in movements outside the mainstream political process. These, we are now discovering, are peculiarly susceptible to this epidemic of gibberish.< <

And he clearly gets the punchline:

>>The obvious corollorary to the belief that the Bush administration is all-powerful is that the rest of us are completely powerless.< <

But by reducing the whole issue to the idea that the conspirationist wave is in Bush's and Blair's interest he's already dismissing it. Starting with some hopeful doubts about his own political camp he eventually comes close to a plot where the conspirationists are a government project. Or as it was put in 'South Park‘: „The 9/11 conspiracy is a government conspiracy.“

Extract II from „Entschwörungstheorie“

Any historian will abhor the inept mechanical history, any political scientist the personalisation, any social scientist the ignorance against the majority of people, any journalist the poor research – but by doing so they play the game. Conspirationists do not want to show the experts that they are equal or better experts, they seek recognition via the audience. They might break the rules applying for the respective profession but that is only of interest for those who are subject to these rules themselves, not for the layperson readers, TV watchers, cinema goers or event attenders. They will most often not know about these rules and with high probability they will be influenced in their judgement by conspirationist shindig, the pretension of authority I refer to as ‚travesty‘. Sometimes if not often the audience will consider the conspirationist copy of science, history or journalism to be more scientific or adequate than the original.

Conspirationism manages to over-optimally emulate socially relevant structures on the level of their appearance. From their more or less marginal position, German protagonists of conspirationism usually present predigested information from US conspirology sources in a way that it forms a more consistent story and a more perfect system which then can be blamed for any personal failure. Having been defeated by these enormous historical powers makes any defeat somewhat heroic, but makes sure that no personal consequences are drawn from that defeat.

Extract I from „Entschwörungstheorie“

Turning point between the seemingly open 90s and today’s massive re-entrenching was September 11th, 2001 of which quickly was said nothing would afterwards be the same it was before. That was equally quickly criticised as a premature statement – but 9/11 really determines the date on which the two already described political camps emerged from previously very different constellations. Both now regret different aspects of the state of 2000. For the „peace fraction“ the Bush clan has destroyed the anti-globalisation movement at the peak of its power by staging 9/11 or at least by the malicious triggering of culture clash and war. For the „civilisation defenders“ the islamist terrorists have thrown the world of tomorrow back into the totalitarian 20th century or the middle ages, for the communists among them these terrorists have turned back the revolution clock. On both sides there is the assumption of a wider conspiracy behind the events, a neoconservative or jewish-illuminati one here, a left-liberal or muslim-antichristian one there, though it is by far more present among the „peace fraction“.

They all share the view that 9/11 destroyed something good or at least something hopeful and that those responsible for it are their arch enemies. Also, they agree that 9/11 revealed where everybody stands politically and also where they had stood before, which previously held views now had to lead into which of the two camps.

In this heated-up situation there is an emotionalised and appalingly fact-resistant debate going on. The assumption alone that beyond the actual suspects there are historical culprits to be identified already carries the gristle of ideological conspiratorial thinking.

Don't fight the players - fight the game!